NEW OFFICIAL MAP OF SOUTH SUDAN EXTENDS TO 1956 BOUNDARIES
The government of South Sudan last week launched their first official map for the country which attained independence from their former slave masters in Khartoum only in July last year. The Council of Ministers meeting a week ago, otherwise known as cabinet, approved the new map which has already prompted outbursts of anger and hate from the regime in Khartoum, which itself is intent to annex part of the traditional South, which can be traced back to the 1956 boundaries between north and south.
A total of 6 disputed areas are shown as part of the South, including those mentioned under the CPA of 2005, which were due to decide also on their future, a plan however thwarted by Khartoum which is presently engaged in a war of attrition against the Southern people and is using ethnic cleansing through murder, rape, looting and burning by their loyalist militias and army units.
These include oil rich Abyei, as well as South Kordofan, Blue Nile and the Nuba mountains, but notably also the Heglig area over which a brief border war broke out a month ago, and where most of Khartoums present oil riches come from. Juba credible lays claims to the 1956 maps on record and insists Khartoum annexed Heglig while stuffing the other areas with loyalists after forcefully displacing tens of thousands of people who would be eligible to vote in a referendum or participate in consultations as agreed under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, which ended the decades long civil war between northern aggressors and the southern liberation movement.
Further information received from Juba also speaks of a lack of progress of border demarcation, a process too set out under the CPA but only, according to a reliable source, completed to less than 40 percent, with others putting the threshold even lower, leaving large parts of the frontier unmarked, in particular those claimed by both parties.
Pointers to the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea were swiftly made, and while there arbitration did set out a recommended border line, many of the exact locations continue to be under occupation by the respective sides.
For South Sudan too calls have been made to go to arbitration over the exact border line, a process supported by the Juba government but hitherto rejected by the regime in Khartoum, which sees itself as the pariah they truly are when it comes to the international arena, therefore afraid of not getting what they are seeking now by force.
Said a Juba based journalist in a communication to this correspondent overnight: The Juba government is also now suspicious of the world community over their hands off attitude towards Khartoum, allowing them to raid and bomb with impunity, commit genocide and ethnic cleansing in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains, occupying Abyei illegally and siphoning away their oil. Ban Ki Moon in fact has been described as the new Chamberlain, who tried to appease Hitler instead of standing up to him, and the UN Secretary General is fast losing the respect of the South over his rhetoric against them and hardly saying much about the atrocities Khartoum is committing. If arbitration is to come maybe it can be impartially dealt with at The Hague but under UN auspices directly it seems a non starter for lack of confidence in their impartiality.
Be that as it may, and no presuming any outcome, visitors to the South Sudan will soon be able to buy the new map and can then see for themselves what territory the Republic of South Sudan is claiming to be their own. Watch this space.
Archive for May 15th, 2012
NEW OFFICIAL MAP OF SOUTH SUDAN EXTENDS TO 1956 BOUNDARIES
57 AND COUNTING AS KENYA AIRWAYS ADDS DEHLI
Delhi will today become Kenya Airways 57th destination, when the B767-300 takes off from Nairobi later in the day to start scheduled flights to Indias capita city. After Mumbai, served daily, this will be KQs second destination in India, to be followed in coming years by at least 4 more destinations, all to be served by nonstop flights out of Nairobi.
The new service will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 13.50 hrs before returning home the next day at 05.30 in the morning.
Trade and tourism links between India and Kenya have been developing since before Kenyas independence and have been growing from strength to strength in more recent times, and Indian company investments and expatriate labour has done much to keep the two countries closely aligned to each other.
The airline is planning to double its destinations from the present 57 to 115 by 2021 under the current 10 year strategic plan, with a tripled fleet which by then, including dedicated freight aircraft, should stand at 119 overall, permitting an increase in frequencies as well as flying to new destinations as previously reported here.
According to a regular source close to the airline more inaugural flights are planned in coming months, so be sure to watch this space. Meanwhile though, Happy Landings to the inaugural flight and the crew and passengers on board.
FRESH FIGHTING CAUSES COLLATERAL DAMAGE TO VIRUNGA RANGER POSTS
Gorilla conservation in the Congo DR has just become even more difficult as reports emerged via Rwanda that a fresh outbreak of fighting has seen the vitally important ranger post in Bikenge, at the edge of the park, extensively damaged through shelling, almost making it appear as if it was deliberately targeted by one of the opposing forces to clear the way for more sinister things to happen.
Conflict in Eastern Congo has been continuing for decades but even before the first Congo war the area was often described as the Wild East of what was previously Zaire before returning to its original name Congo after Mobutu Ssese Seko was overthrown..
The neighbouring ranger post at the Virunga boundary in Bukima was also reportedly evacuated as the safety of the staff there could no longer be guaranteed, after the shelling of Bikenge.
It was at the same time also learned that a ranger patrol was a few days earlier ambushed by suspected militias with a reported three park staff killed in the process.
Attacks on rangers and park outposts in the past often were the precursor to poaching incidents, when gorillas, other primates and game were killed for bush meat and trophies, and although there are no reports at present of any poaching going on. However, the absence of patrols in the face of immediate danger to the park staffs lives does not permit right now to establish what exactly has been transpiring inside the park nor was it possible to ascertain that the habituated gorilla groups are safe.
Travel advisories have been coming down thick and fast to avoid travelling to Eastern Congo and the fighting at if not inside the park will once again dramatically reduce the income from visits to the gorillas, while leaving the park administration and management in further tatters and again spoiling the reputation of the park, something conservation NGOs and park management have been working hard to mitigate in the past.
Transboundary gorilla conservation has been at the heart of the cooperation between Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo DR wildlife management bodies but the periodic fighting across the border inside and outside the Virunga National Park has been making joint patrols, joint anti poaching operations and joint tourism activities very difficult at best and as is the case right now again next to impossible. The loss of park staff who lost their lives in the pursuit of conservation is deeply regretted and condolences are once again expressed to their families and friends. Watch this space.
ROUTES AFRICA LESS THAN TWO MONTHS AWAY
The Kempinski Seychelles Resort at Baie Lazare was chosen as the befitting venue for the Routes Africa 2012 Conference, due to take place on the Seychelles main island of Mahe from July 08th 10th.
The annual series of Routes conferences will continue in a few days in Tallinn / Estonia where over 80 airlines will brainstorm together with civil aviation authorizes, airports and tourist boards, amongst other participants, a record number by the way for the European regional event and when Routes Africa goes underway there too key airlines and stakeholders will join their hosts, the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, the Seychelles Tourism Board and Air Seychelles, the official carrier for the event, to discuss how to better link Africa to the rest of the world and more important, how to link Africa and the Indian Ocean islands better amongst themselves. Notably have all three of the Gulfs mega carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways indicated their participation, joined by a host of African airlines including South African Airways.
Media partners eTurboNews are joined by ATW, Airline Weekly, Air Transport News, TTG and Logistics Update Africa and Routes TV will via mark.gray and importantly is the Twitter handle @routesonline providing updates through the hash tag #RoutesAfrica. Routes is also found on Facebook and LinkedIn to further use key social networks to promote the events and inform participants and other interested parties of the results and resolutions of the respective regional conferences, before the annual global Routes Conference then wraps up 2012.
Routes Africa is supported by AFRAA, the African Airline Association, the Airports Council International and the Airline Association of Southern Africa, all key partners in the aviation industry on the continent.
The Seychelles Tourism Board has been using their presence this week at INDABA in Durban to actively promote event participation, and the RETOSA Board of Directors meeting, which brings together the tourism ministers from the SADC region, will take place in Victoria immediately prior to the Routes Africa Conference, offering yet more opportunities to network and explore future cooperation through increased airlinks with and within the continent of Africa. Watch this space.